Water resources are vital for our everyday lives and the progress of society.
The future of our planet depends on the most precious liquid for life: water. It is the element that distinguishes the Earth from the rest of the planets we know thus far. It is what makes us unique, which is why the future of humanity depends on this irreplaceable natural resource.
World Water Day, held on 22 March under the auspices of the United Nations, this year focuses on the theme “Valuing Water” and seeks to understand and become aware of the significance of this element for each and every one of us. A reflection more necessary than ever, given that the world’s population will increase to almost 10 billion by 2050 and global demand for water will rise by 20-30%.
The availability of water resources is seriously threatened by the impact of climate change. Spain is the most vulnerable country and has the greatest water-stress in the EU, according to the European Environment Agency. Therefore, mitigating the effects of global warming is urgent.
Driver of development
Water is a basic commodity for people and their homes. Drinking, cooking, showering, washing dishes and watering plants are everyday routines to which we have now added a new ritual: washing our hands thoroughly to protect ourselves in the current health crisis, which has underlined the importance of the water-health nexus.
Water resources make all wealth-generating activities sustainable, including industry and agriculture, amongst others. Above all, water is of key importance for cities and their environments, where 75% of the world’s population will live in 2050. Water is much more than a service. Its importance to society makes it a catalyst for progress towards a fairer society with opportunities for all.
Customised solutions for each sector
In addition to its daily and health-related uses, water is also essential for different economic activities, such as industry and agriculture. In the industrial sphere, SUEZ is committed to the application of cutting-edge technologies that optimise the use of water in production processes. And for agriculture, SUEZ offers solutions tailored to each user and region, in accordance with prevailing water scenarios, for the purpose of ensuring sustainable access to this valuable resource even in times of greater scarcity. This is partially achieved through the optimisation of crops and the implementation of more efficient irrigation methods, such as drip irrigation.
Digital solutions for the future
To address current and future global challenges, the SUEZ group is supported by innovation and digitisation in the form of its DINAPSIS digital hub network, comprising six hubs spread throughout the country dedicated to the development of cutting-edge technology in order to build smarter, more resilient and greener cities.
One of the main digital solutions promoted by SUEZ is smart remote meter reading controlled from these DINAPSIS hubs. This cutting-edge technology is rapidly gaining ground on a global scale due to the significant advantages it affords to both public authorities and businesses (faster, more efficient leak detection), as well as to the general public (better cost control and the availability of information on real rather than estimated consumption at any given time).
Pact for inclusive recovery
Responsible water management is in the DNA of SUEZ España and, with people at the centre of its strategy, the company has taken the initiative to address the challenges arising from the current health crisis. The group has set the goal of reaching a Social Pact, region by region, to guarantee sustainable and equitable economic recovery. The aim is to ensure constant access to water for vulnerable groups and to promote a ‘green’ recovery that reaches every corner of society, leaving no one behind. A reactivation of the economy based on public-private partnership and quality employment.
The group offers services in the field of water and environmental sustainability to accompany regions and cities on the path to ecological transition. An example is the La Marjal park in Alicante, where a solution based on nature itself is capable of collecting 45 million litres of rainwater, thereby mitigating flooding problems in the urban environment. Combining resilience and sustainable urban development, the park has two pipelines, whose main function is to collect floodwater and channel it to the park’s two ponds. The collected water is subsequently sent to the Monte Orgegia wastewater treatment plant, where it is treated to enable it to be used for other purposes, such as the irrigation of green urban areas.
To address the challenge of the health crisis, SUEZ España has developed the comprehensive COVID-19 City Sentinel solution for early detection of the virus in wastewater. This innovative solution, developed in record time and capable of detecting the new UK variant, has already been implemented in more than a hundred municipalities in Spain to monitor the wastewater of a population of over 13 million.